The number of people worried about Lakewood’s Tax Increment Financing District’s having a negative impact on their school taxes has increased by two in the last day.
At least the number communicating to me.
Last night my wife and I were at Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake and I was discussing the TIF district with retired District 47 Superintendent Ron Miller.
A woman from Woodstock at the next table hear me and asked me a question about it.
I discovered that she was unhappy with the lack of action by the Woodstock School District 200 Board of Education.
Now John Guanci, who is a member of the McHenry County Ethics Commission and running unopposed for Republican Precinct Committeeman in Bull Valley, has written a plea for people to attend the next school board meeting.
You can read what he wrote below:
Whenever I want to feel good about life I sit down and I watch a John Wayne movie.
Maybe you share this same sense of warmth and comfort that I do when that distinct sound in his voice fills the room. It is something very special, indeed.
For a while I’ve wondered why this happens to be the case.
It’s been a genuine curiosity of mine; however, I’m glad to say that today as I type these words, I know the reason why.
Like many I enjoy“The Duke” because he stood for what was right and he did so without concern for himself and he wasn’t worried about making a mistake in the process.
Mind you he didn’t charge off in a reckless fashion thinking he was bulletproof or indestructible, but he didn’t let long odds force him to turtle-up with a meek disposition.
He applied his intellect to understanding the operational context and at resolving an injustice, one that he sensed deeply in his heart.
None of this, of course, would have been possible without his having courage.
That intangible something that allows us to stand before in the face of a challenge as uncomfortable and even scared human beings; knowing we cannot shrink from the opportunity lest we sacrifice something more valuable than being comfortable.
Merriam-Webster defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty; the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.”
We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth and we do so because we are governed by the greatest system on the face of the earth; a democratically elected compound republic.
Of course, this is only possible if our elected officials display the requisite amount of courage in any one given situation, as well.
For example, who among us thinks our nation would be on a solid ground financially if our political
leaders had the courage to address head-on the challenges which confront them and to stop kicking the can down the road?
Naturally, challenges do not just exist in far off and remote places.
No, they exist here, right in our own backyards.
Such is the case with District 200 and Lakewood’s TIF District.
Here are the facts of the matter:
- The Village of Lakewood created a TIF District within the boundaries of School District 200 and, by doing so; Lakewood will collect the property taxes while Woodstock will pay for the education of any student from the Lakewood TIF District.
- The Village of Lakewood, by the creation on of their TIF District will introduce 200 new students at a cost of $9,000 per student which equates $1.8million per year. To which D200 will be obligated for 23 years under state law.
- The residents of the City of Woodstock and District 200 cannot afford the additional tax burden and have no obligation to allow more of their personal resources to be confiscated by government, especially at the local level.
Doing nothing is not an option.
The citizens of D200 deserve a Board with the courage to take action and to stand up for more than their constituents; we need Board members who will stand up for their neighbors and loved ones.
- That said, the D200 Board has been advised by legal counsel to file suit against the Village of Lakewood and to do so prior to the deadline of January 27, 2016. Presently the D200 Board is not pursuing this option.
- As a last attempt, ask D200 to press the Village of Lakewood for detachment-annexation procedure to take the TIF District out of D200 schools and into the school district where every other Lakewood child attends.
In order for our form of government to work it has to work at the basic level, especially those which are local and there is hardly a form of government more local than a school district.
This is why I am asking those within reach of this letter to take up the mantle of courage and to take action on behalf of those who have consented to being governed by their fellow citizens; those who were elected to office. That we be so resolved and bring pressure upon the D200 School Board to take legal action, as advised by their legal, in defense of the D200 taxpayers.
The next meeting is:
- Date / Time: Tuesday January 26 2016 – 7:00pm
- Location: Clay PDC 112 Grove Street, Woodstock (Second Floor – Please use parking lot behind Clay Academy and enter via Door 5)
Do attend as we need “The Duke” which resides within each of us…more now than ever before.